Sometimes your bump isn’t just cute, but itchy. If all you can think of is scratching the itchy skin on your growing belly, you’re not alone. Lots of moms-to-be struggle with this particular and extremely uncomfortable pregnancy skin symptom. In order to know how to relieve the itching, we have to know what causes it. We'll take you through this and give you tips on how to get some relief so you can enjoy your cute bump again.
What are Strech marks exactly
Stretch marks are small tears that start in the middle layer of your skin (the dermis) and extend up into the top layer of your skin (the epidermis). Under normal circumstances, your skin can stretch without tearing, thanks to the naturally occurring collagen and elastin fibers that add an elastic quality to your skin. But when your skin exceeds its ability to stretch or stretches too fast, tearing and scarring occur. The result is white, sometimes discolored lines on your bump.
Causes of stretch mark itch
The cause of stretch marks is not well understood. They have been linked to increasing pregnancy hormones and stretching of the tissue under the skin. Heredity is thought to play a role in the development of stretch marks, if your mother had them, you are likely to have them as well. Stretch marks are also more common in more pigmented skin and with people who smoke. Weight gain during pregnancy does not seem to play a role in the development of stretch marks. Some women who gain little weight during pregnancy develop stretch marks too. The chance of getting stretch marks is bigger if you get pregnant before you turn 30.
When a tear first occurs, your body gets right to work healing the “wound”. Healing skin tends to be itchy. With dermal tearing, your nerves respond by creating that uncomfortable itchy feeling. As your skin stretches, it also thins, which can deprive the skin of moisture and intensify that itchiness.
The first itch relief treatment can be challenging: Don’t scratch! You risk breaking the skin and getting an infection. One of the things that keep your skin smooth, supple, and healthy is moisture. Drinking an ample amount of water every day can keep skin hydrated and reduce itchiness.
How to clean your bump
We suggest showering with lukewarm water and a gentle moisturizing cleanser. This combination will help protect skin from becoming excessively tight and dry. You can also add oatmeal powder to your bath. This can provide some much-needed moisture and soothing too. Avoid soaking in a hot tub though, because this will zap your skin's moisture. After bathing, pat excess water off your skin and apply moisturizer before it has fully dried. Applying moisturizer that you keep in the refrigerator may further reduce itching. Try eliminating drying soaps, skin products with alcohol, and heavily chlorinated water from your daily routine. These may contribute to skin dryness.
Massage that bump
To help prevent the need to scratch is to keep the skin moisturized by massaging with cocoa butter or almond oil each night before bed. There are also a lot of well-targeted creams on the market that have proven their efficiency, like our Stretch Marks Oil. Let it soak in overnight, leaving your skin soft and ditching the dryness that triggers itchiness. Massaging stretch-marked skin is also a great way to break up the scar tissue that makes lines permanent.
We wish you all the luck and don't forget: Don't scratch! :)
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